Jeff Vorva, of the Daily Southtown, reports the Chicago Cubs said the injury to outfielder Alfonso Soriano (hamstring) isn't severe enough to warrant a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
Original reports indicated that Soriano was expected to be placed on the disabled list. An MRI showed no serious damage to his left hamstring, but the team had expected him to miss seven to 10 days. The Cubs have recalled outfielder Felix Pie from Triple-A Iowa to fill in for Soriano.
Soriano was a top fantasy player last season, hitting 46 home runs and stealing 41 bases for the Washington Nationals. Soriano signed an eight-year contract worth $136 million with the Cubs this offseason.
Soriano has started the season slowly for the Cubs, hitting .245 with only one RBI and one stolen base. This injury should only be a temporary setback for Soriano owners, so he could return to his All-Star form once he returns.
Pie, who is replacing Soriano in center field and at the leadoff spot, is one of the best prospects in the Cubs' farm system. Pie is currently hitting .444 at Triple-A Iowa. If he bats well in the majors, he could tempt the club to shop one of its veteran outfielders when Soriano returns to the lineup. That's very unlikely, however. Pie is worth a pickup in NL-only leagues and deeper mixed leagues with daily transactions, but those owners should realize that they probably won't have him for long. Keeper leaguers who are seeing Pie available for the first time should look to invest.
There is usually an abundant source of outfielders on the waiver wire in fantasy baseball, so owners should be able to find a short-term replacement for Soriano. They likely won't be able to replace his expected return, though. Some outfielders like Nationals outfielder Ryan Church and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Geoff Jenkins are enjoying hot streaks right now; they could be good replacements while Soriano is out. Church is hitting .341 with three homers and six RBI in the early going. Jenkins, who's platooning but playing often because he faces right-handers, is hitting .351 with three home runs and eight RBI so far.
About Andrew Stewart
Andrew Stewart has been a Hot off the Wire Analyst for KFFL since 2007.
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